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Lisa Sthalekar


Lack of execution hurts Stars

30 August 2013

With the Australian Men's team not returning with the Ashes urn, Jodie Fields and her teammates, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars, felt a responsibility to the Australian public that they would return with the Ashes.

Unfortunately it wasn't to be with England women winning by five wickets in the 19th over at the Rose Bowl overnight to secure the win and take an unassailable lead of 10 - 4 to regain the Ashes that they lost in 2011 in Australia.

This do or die T20 match in the Women's Ashes series acted as a curtain raiser to the Men's match at the Rose Bowl in Southhampton. 

Both teams had one change in their line up with Shrubsole out due to a groin strain that will have her sit on the sidelines for six weeks, allowing Colvin a chance to play in this format while Holly Ferling made her T20 debut at the expense of her Queensland teammate Jonassen.

Jodie Fields won the crucial toss to allow her batters to not necessarily feel the scoreboard pressure but instead play with confidence as they went about setting a total above 140 runs.

Healy (9) and Lanning went about getting the Stars off to a good start and things seemed to have changed when Lanning dispatched Wyatt for two fours in her first over. 

Edwards wasn't going to allow a second over from Wyatt as she brought on Hazell who had bowled extremely well in the first T20. 

Hazell's first over suggested that the England bowling may tie Australia down again as she bowled a maiden in Australia's 4th over of the innings. 

Something like that is pure gold, as dot balls are nice in the power play, but a maiden is really unheard of.

Healy gave a chance in the next over off Brunt, with Hazell putting her down at square-leg, but it didn't matter as a couple of dots balls after she was caught by Brindle. 

This was after nine consecutive dot balls with the score 1-19 in the 5th over.

By the end of the power play the Stars were 1-26, and I expect it was probably not exactly the start that they were looking for, but they did have Cameron and Lanning at the crease, two of the bigger hitters in the team, and the women's game for that matter.

They were only able to put on 19 runs themselves when there was hesitation in whether to take quick single and Cameron (7) was run out at the non-strikers by the bowler Gunn. 

I hate to say it, but this mode of dismissal for these two when batting together isn't unusual. 

In our domestic season, teams playing Victoria always feel like they are a chance of breaking their partnership by running one of them out.

There was a change in the batting line up as Blackwell came in ahead of her captain Fields at number four and between the two they started to up the run rate, with Meg finding, and even clearing, the boundary as she posted another half century off the same amount of balls.

Their 57 run partnership was only broken by an unlucky mode of dismissal with Blackwell smashing the ball back at the bowler, Colvin who managed to get the faintest touch on the ball to run out Lanning for a well made 60.

From there Blackwell (25) fell in the penultimate over and the final over bowled by the pick of England's bowlers, Hazell was a fruitful one for her as the team picked up a team hat-trick by getting Perry (11), Fields (2) trying to go for the second and running herself out and Osborne (0) falling the very next ball. 

Hazell's impressive figures of 2-11 off her four had restricted Australia to 7-127.

With not a huge score on the board, the Southern Stars needed quick wickets, something that they hadn't been able to secure in previous matches. 

A change in opening bowlers was the right choice as England lost 3-9 in the space of three overs. 

With key players such as Taylor (1) and Knight (2) back in the pavilion it was up to Captain Edwards and Greenway, who had remained quite all series until today.

The two of them went about their business to try and rebuild England's disastrous start and half way through their innings they had recovered quite nicely to be 3-63 requiring a further 65 runs off the remaining 60 balls.

When Edwards fell for 24 in the 14th over to give Ferling her first T20 wicket, the Aussies thought they were in with a real chance, but Greenway was still the danger.

Many a time in the past has Greenway played an innings to ensure an English victory and today was no different, her ability to hit the ball to different areas, plus reverse sweep with power just behind point has seen her score plenty of runs.

Despite getting the equation down to 48 runs off 36 balls Greenway went about finding the boundary and eventually providing the final blow as England won five wickets down with five balls remaining to regain the coveted Ashes.

As Fields said in the post match conference, which was echoed by a number of the girls on Twitter and Facebook, they are absolutely "gutted" by the loss. 

They came over to England as World Champions in both ODI and T20 with all the confidence in the world.

Throughout the Women's Ashes Series there were moments in each match where they could have won each game, but it seems a lack of execution has cost them dearly in the end.

Although extremely disappointed with their performance, they do have the opportunity to come away with a win as tomorrow they will play the final T20 match in Durham.

Southern Stars Correspondent, last day in paradise, Lisa Sthalekar

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.
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